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Benghazi 20, Us 18, Libya 10, Washington 8, Afghanistan 6, Africa 5, Tunisia 4, Muller 4, United States 4, America 4, U.s. 4, Texas 3, Madam 3, Kabul 3, Mullen 2, Pickering 2, Chris Stevens 2, Stevens 2, Tyrone Woods 2, Susan Rice 2,
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  MSNBC    The Cycle    News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports  
   and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.  

    January 23, 2013
    12:00 - 1:00pm PST  

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implementation like what kind of security upgrades were necessary and there were a few that were only partially implemented because of separate concerns that would have raised. there was the need for ongoing funding. you remember that admiral crowe said we wanted $2.2 billion. we had a number of embassies that were built in the early years thanks to your legislation and it petered off. we put so much time and attention into iraq and afghanistan, trying to make sure we secured our people there. we sent a lot of diplomatic security personnel there. so we had a slow down in the ability to build new facilities and the latest is saying let's get back and do this again and there is no substitute for it. >> i'm almost out of time. when did you become aware of the
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request and how did he respond and did he personally ask you to be involved? >> no. any of the requests and any of the cables having to do with security did not come to my attention. . >> mr. sherman from california. >> madam secretary, it's a shame before the committee. i would have thought that the last appearance would be a chance for us to review your outstanding record as one of the great secretaries of state whether it be leading efforts to enforce sanctions on iran. your work supporting women's rights around the world and engaging with civil society and restoring and maintaining influence in a very difficult era. i would have thought that your last hearing would be a chance to give us advice for what to
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do-ovdo over the next four years and beyond. i take seriously your strong advice that it's about time we pass a reauthorization bill through both houses. instead we are here on i guess the third hearing to deal with the tragic events of benghazi because it's a chance to beat up on the other party. we can talk about how you were not provided with resources and the administration inside the state department. i hope that maybe we would get you to come back again. i realize that would be gratis. you wouldn't be on the payroll at that time. with the hearing i would like to have, getting your input on the bigger issues of foreign policy.
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ultimately the security of our diplomats depens on the host country. this is all a discussion about there might have been five security people on the ground if only there was more funning and deployment and that cable and this cable, there would have been eight or nine that might have led to more protection or more casualties. here in washington the decision was made to provide well more than 16 security people to libya. nobody that i know of in washington was involved in the issue of how many of those were in benghazi going with the ambassador or there in advance. the decision that all 16 weren't with him was a decision that you can't blame either political party or anyone in washington for. ultimately all we can have is
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enough to stave off a militant attack for a few hours and after that if the host country doesn't come to the rescue, it doesn't matter whether we have 3, 6, 12, 16, or 36 armed guards and marines at the location. one aspect of protecting our diplomats in the future is bringing to justice the criminal who is did this this time. we did a lot for the people of libya and those now ruling libya. how would you appraise their efforts to cooperate with us in the investigation and does this libyan government have the will and capacity to have the
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suspects involved and i think they have to strain the capacity to try to arrest powerful armed elements in the eastern part of the country and i don't know if they have it even if they have the will to use that capacity. can you tell us after the attack that they are trying to bring the culprits to justice, what do you think of the libyan government. >> you drew exactly the right description. is it well or capacity? what you need is both. i found the libyan officials to be willing, but without capacity. part of our challenge is to help them build greater capacity because it's about them. it's not only about what happened to us in benghazi which every official in the libyan government was deeply upset
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about, but they have their own problems now. they are having leaders attack and assassinated on a regular basis. we have to do more to build up the security capacity and i would ask this committee to work with us. there holds on a lot of the security funding that go to kwlab to assist them in building capacity. there those i know in the area that don't give them any money. it's in our best interest sb to give them the money with interest. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman and thank you for being with us today and putting yourself through this. >> thank you. >> let me know that fixing the responsibility was what we are trying to do and identify bad policy and mistakes is the way
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that democracies fix problems. it is not all politics. it's how we do things to make it better. none of us should it's all apologize for trying to get to the nitty-gritty. let me note that assistant secretary of state lamb testified here in congress that budget considerations played absolutely no role in her decision. it was her decision, not yours, but you have proven her as to what the level of security would be thera at benghazi. any suggestion that this is a budget issue is off base or political. you said you learned of the attack on that day and were involved widely in the coordinated response which included the differently defense at the white house and did not speak to the president until
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later that evening. when did you talk to the president? >> two things on the first point. the arb disagree with that and found they were at stake. >> she testified under oath. >> that's why you have an independent group look at everything. >> everybody has their own -- >> it's important to do. >> what about when you saw the president? when did you see the president? >> i talked to the president at the end of the day, but i had been in constant communication with the national security adviser and had been on secure video conferences with high level officials in the white house and the defense department. >> secretary lamb, the lady that we are talking about said she witnessed this in realtime. the attack on a monitor. at any time did you see the initial attack on a monitor? >> congressman, there was no
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monitor. there was no realtime. we got the surveillance videos some weeks later. that was the first time we saw video of the attack. there was a misunderstanding and perhaps i am trying to clarify this and i may be going beyond my brief here. what she meant -- she was talking to ds people who were trying to understand what was going on. >> i will say that admiral mullen and in briefing us suggested that they have seen some kind of video and within a few moments it was very clear that this was a very coordinated terrorist attack and not some demonstration that had gone a wry. >> the surveillance video that some of you may have seen in a classified setting does demonstrate what happened that night. >> as you were dealing with the crisis as it went on, did you think or act on the basis that this was a film protest gone out
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of control and when you briefed the president, did you tell him that or tell him which admiral mullen suggested you knew by then that this was a well-planned and executed terrorist attack. which was the president told? >> first of all, i said the very next morning that it was an attack. the president said it was an act of terror. at the same time i was dealing with protests against our facilities that were clearly connected to that video. so we were managing a number of such events. >> you noted that and it can be people who do this. you said that you said it. the emphasis, we all remember what it was. over and over again, it was repeated that we had enraged the islamic terrorists that by the way, what does that do?
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we enraged the terrorists. that means we are at fault. they are not. for them to look and see that the only people i know are in jail is the filmmaker. it's a little disconcerting. >> i want to be clear that of course it was a terrorist attack. the very next day i called it an attack by heavily armed militants on the compound. there is still however questions about exactly what caused it and who the attackers were. the arb after months of research said the picture is complicated. i think it's worth members looking at the unclassified and classified arb with that in mind. >> thank you. >> mr. meeks of new york.
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>> let me first thank you for an extraordinary daughter who came to the rockaways after sandy just helping people unannounced without fanfare and getting down and helping people because they needed help after that terrible storm. just extraordinary public service. i want to also say, madam secretary that you have been a secretary of state at an extraordinary time in the history of the united states of america and the world. you managed to challenge in an equally extraordinary manner. when you took the job, america had a tarnished image and you revived our brand and traveled over a million miles to the furthest reaches of the world to the most challenging areas and touched the lives of the most vulnerab vulnerable. you have deepened our confidence that foreign aid can be
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responsibly spent. on behalf of a grateful nation and the people, i want to thank you for a job well done. the attacks on our in addition benghazi were a painful reminder to all of us that our diplomats are in harm's way and there in the same unstable and hostile environments as the military. they don't have the same means of protecting themselves and we go back and we talked and than this committee, i heard admiral mullens and pickering say money & was very important and makes a difference. yet and sadly this failed to do its part in addressing the challenges they face even after the tragedy at the attacks. you have been accepted the recommendation the arb and put measures in place after the attacks that demonstrated the
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status quo. it's a dwo-way street. congress failed to act and believe it's a shame on the leadership for it failed to give the state department the funds. not new moan, but towards bolstering the security to give you that discretion. shame on the house for its failing to adequately fund the administration's request for diplomatic funding. i hope this congress will act swiftly to fix these critical funding matters. it's my hope that we have a state authorization bill that the president can sign into law. let me ask you this question. at the time of the benghazi attacks, you indicated there was things going on in egypt and yemen and tunisia. no one could have imagined and
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i'm sure you did not when you took office that we would have the arab swing and the nation of what was going on in these countries. i want to ask you a question. what mr. sherman was asking. just to get the reports on what we might do as members of congress and how we might move forward with the nations so that maybe that's a way to prevent these things from happening. >> it's an excellent question and deserves a very thoughtful answer longer than the time i have. we cannot retreat on new regimes. they are very new and most of them have leaders that have never run anything. they have come from backgrounds that are suspicious. it threw them in jail and
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harassed themselves and they have to do work. that work requires that we stay engaged. we have to do a better job in helping rebuild the security apparatus that can be used. we had a terrible assault on tunis. i called the president of tunisia and said you have got to send reinforcements right now. our embassy is going to be overrun. the government has been responsive, understanding that these terrorists, these extremists don't just threaten us in western countries, but the stability and the future of these governments. we have to help them the way we helped columbia. we need to do a better job conveying a counter narrative to the extremist jihadist narrative. i said this to the committee
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before. we advocated the broadcasting arena. we have private stations and cnn and fox and nbc and all of that. they are out there and convey information, but we are not doing what we did during the cold war. our broadcasting board of governors is practically defunct in terms of the capacity to tell a message around the world. they are advocating the ideological arena and we need to get back into it. we have the best values and narrative. most people in the world want to have a good decent live that is supported by a good decent job and raise their families and letting the jihadist narrative fill a void. we need to get in there and do it successfully. >> from ohio. >> madam secretary, let me thank you for your service. i wish you the best in your future endeavors mostly. [ laughter ]
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i have a couple of questions, but i want to take a moment or two to say a couple of words about chris stevens. many members and staff on our committee had the opportunity to know and work with him. even before he was named our u.s. ambassador to libya. i think all would agree that he was one of the most able diplomats. i had the opportunity to meet with him in tripoli less than a month before he and three others were murdered in benghazi. his enthusiasm for the job was really something to behold. he was excited about the opportunity to free the nation from brutal dictatorship. i had the opportunity to join him for a dinner with a number of newly elected libyan parliament aryans.
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they were optimistic with creating the economy and restoring human rights for the people. he was as enthusiastic as they were about the prospects. no question he will be missed by all who knew him and worked with him. one of the things that troubles me is the hoops we on this committee had to jump through to get to the facts surrounding the deaths of these public servants. the state department has delayed and delayed coming forth with information. the committee was presented with the data, it amounted to what was called a document dump. hundreds of pages of paper in wide disarray in no order in terms of relevance and chronology in duplicate and different binders, making it difficult to locate documents of any help. our public servants in libya
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were murdered on september 11. it's now january 23rd. more than four months later. it's unacceptable that the state department made it so difficult for congress to exercise the oversight and responsibility. a couple of questions. within a couple of months of the attack, within the july and august period, they expressed concern about ben gaza skpet need for assistance. we have seen the cables where the officers expressed considerable frustration at the difficulty in getting the personnel they believe was needed to protect diplomats and property. we know that management of security personnel with the assignment on short-term duty virtually guaranteeing limited institutional knowledge was grossly inadequate.
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why would they deny a plea from stevens given his expertise on libyan affairs. why did the senior leadership not take into consideration the approaching september 11 anniversary, degreely in light of the requests. we heard numerous times over the last several months that more funding is needed for diplomatic security for the senate foreign relations committee. noble that anybody in the room doesn't want that. since 2000, congress provided funding in the neighborhood of $10 billion for embassy security construction and maintenance. we will no doubt continue to provide significant funding in the future. given that our nation faces a mountain of debt by the president in his inaugural
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address means we cannot fund every program that every federal agency requests. when we increase funding, we have to consider cuts in others. that's the way it should work. the state department, are they conducting internal reviews to determine what offsets in current program funding might be consider and finally i know that some have been pedalling the story about congress's fault for not providing for security. i would not that your chief financial officer for diplomatic security stated and quote, i do not feel that we have ever been at a point where we have sacrificed security due to lack of funding and note they used my five minutes. i would appreciate your remarks. if we want to get through the numbers, we will have to hold to
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the five minutes. i will ask for a response in writing and we will go down to mr. deutsch from florida. >> those are good questions i will take up in a moment. >> i would like to thank you for the truly remarkable job that you have done for secretary of state. you have represented the interest magnificently. i for one consider a return to public service. which shthat bring you to nord, i look forward to welcoming you there. i would be remiss if i did not take the opportunity to once again thank you for your efforts on behalf of my constituent who went missing in iran. i asked the department if they continued to do everything he can to return him to his family. i want to thank you for your
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commitment to ensuring that those american who is serve american interests overseas at great risks is often a testament to the commitment you show to strengthen the diplomatic efforts around the world. there is a lot of debate on the hill about how we spend our dollars. we all recognize that we have budgetary concerns. we recognize that we have an obligation to provide security and protect american personnel abroad. as we ended our military operations and as we wind down in afghanistan, i would like to ask the kind of strain will the presence of less military personnel in the region put on diplomatic security. >> that's a very important question that we are going to have to grapple with together, i would hope. we saw, for example, that when
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our troops withdrew from iraq, it dramatically altered what the civilians were capable of being able to do. because there had been over the course of the war a good working relationship between dod state and usaid. we will face the same as our troops drawdown from afghanistan. a lot of these places we don't have military resources. the differently defense was a very good partner to us in responding to benghazi, but their assets were too far away to make a difference in any timely fashion. i think this is going to look quite pressure ant because we need to figure out how to work
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effectively tg between the civilian and military assets in africa and that would be a worthy subject of this committee working with the armed services committee because it's often difficult. in my four years, we tried to work out more cooperative relationships and funding streams between state and dod to be able to maximize the cooperation between us. >> when you talk about the need to prioritize because of shortfalls, more marine security guards talk about construction budgets and upgrades. what does that mean and what are the decisions and how do they impact our diplomatic personnel? >> first and foremost, we have to do the right job prioritizing based on the resources and i would be the first to say it's not all about money, but it's not without budgetary consequences.
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we have to figure out the right balance. i spoke with the secretary and chairman and asked them to work with us in putting together interagency assessment teams and look at the high threat post. the military brings a different perspective. that was an important process which we are going to continue. we are looking to see how we can better cooperate on the security aid we give to other countries. it has to be a combination of both military assets and expertise, but also development and rule of law and democracy building. it can't be one or the other. >> if you could in a few seconds that we have left, can you just speak more broadly about the important that will play. why is it so important for us to continue to fund? >> let me give you an example. columbia. columbia 15 or 20 years ago was
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in a very difficult state. it had an insurgency and a drug cartel that was basically controlling territory. the united states stepped in and worked with the columbians and there was an article in the travel section about going. that's what america can do. we don't do it ourselves, but partner with willing governments to help them acquire the capacity to protect their own citizens. >> going to joe wilson of south carolina. >> madam secretary, thank you for being here today and appreciate your recognition of africom. these are extraordinary success stories promoting peace throughout the world. the american people appreciate american heroes. chris stevens, tyrone woods and glen doherty and sean smith.
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i believe that they are correct. there was an e-mail from the chief financial officer for security following the benghazi attack, specific quote, although diplomatic security has been fiscally prudent, i do not feel we have ever been in a point where we sacrificed security due to a lack of funding. that actually is attributed to you. i have faith in the chief financial officer that it's a correct statement. as we begin, it's been reported that since you managed the response to the ben gassy attack, why weren't you the person to appear on the sunday shows immediately following the attack and susan rice said you declined. was that correct? >> i have to confess here in public going on the sunday shows is not my favorite thing to do. there other things i prefer to do on sunday mornings.
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and i haven't been on a sunday show in way over a year. it just isn't something i normally jump to do. i did feel strongly that we had a lot that we had to manage and i had to respond to and i thought that should be my priority. >> i believe that part of the priority is telling correct information and you could have done that i think it's unfortunate that the multiple appearances by ambassador rice with information that has been discovered not to be correct. in the november 21st, 2012 edition of the charleston post and courier, a letter was published by a retire foreign service officer. he wrote, within the state department there is an office known as op center located in the office of the secretary of state. it is staffed around the clock,
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24-7 by season foreign serviced officers. the function is to be sensitive to any threat wherever they might arise. the op center has direct secure communication lines to the white house situation room and the national military command center at the pentagon and the cia's op center. having worked as a watch officer, i know that any information that indicates a threat to the safety of american citizens overseas is passed to other agencies mentioned above. if it's of significant message concerning interest received, it is to watch officer job to make sure the other agency are informed. he goes on, there many questions that need to be answered and would like to present them on his behalf. first and foremost, what was going on at the op center in washington while our consulate was under attack for seven hours?
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>> they were placing calls and deeply engaged in trying to help us. they don't reach out on their own, but it help us acquire information to respond in realtime. >> in seven hours, goodness gracious. there should have been a response. why did the labeling attack as terrorism when it was immediately known that it was. >> again, i would say, congressman, that we described the attack. i described the attack the next morning and the president called it an act of terror. there was as you will find in reading both the unclassified and classified version of the arb, there was a lost questions about who was behind the and what motivated it and those questions are not fully answered today.
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>> he continues. why weren't marine guards posted in the first place? >> historically the guards are at posts where there is classified information. they have not historically had the responsibility for protecting personnel. their job is to protect and if necessary, destroy classified material. there was no classified material. >> he continues in line with everybody else, pointing out that there were requests to enhance security and they were denied. we were not able to reach all the questions. i appreciate you responding. i will submit them for the record. >> thank you, congressman. >> karen from california. >> thank you very much. thank you, chairman rice and ranking member engle for convening this hearing. i want to take the time to thank you for your willingness to come before the committee for the final time. i want to offer my sincere and deep gratitude for the service to our nation and i'm glad to
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know you are feeling much better. for the past four years and well before, you put country first and for our nation and for that our nation is indebted to you. with confidence and careful consideration and leadership on countless issues to ensure it's an essential part of diplomacy. it made it better today than when you arrived. on the subcommittee, i am appreciative of the attention you have given to the 54 nations of africa. while africa may lose one of the most steadfast and dedicated champions, i trust africa will not be far from your thoughts and will remain a top priority in the future work. i also want to associate my comments with congressman sherman who said it's unfortunate that this is the last time we will hear from you. i want to focus time on moving
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forward and asking your advice. you made difference about best value contracts and mentioned i believe several nations where best value contracts are not used. in thinking about africa and the instability in a number of nations and mali and what we are dealing with now, i want to know whether or not those nations are subject to those types of contracts and whether or not exemptions or waivers should be made. what should we do? >> congresswoman, thank you very much for your emphasis on africa. it will be increasingly important. there only three nations where the state department has an exemption by congress for using different contracting rules in order to get the best value for our country. those are iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan. every other country in the world, we are under the kind of
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contracting rules that i think do interfere with our capacity to get the best deal, particularly when it comes to security that we should in these countries where the threats unfortunately are going to always be with us. >> should we look to extend that to mali and the drc and somalia? >> i would recommend -- there was an article in one of the newspapers that went into detail and here's how it started. for more than two decades, they required the state department to select the cheapest rather than the best contractors for the embassies abroad. you get what you pay for. the provision started in 1990 and stayed with us. i would respectfully request that this submitee take a look at it. you can't do a total lifting of
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it for everybody, at least look at the high threat posts where we did it for iraq, afghanistan and pack o pakistan and the countries you are naming are countries that i would fall into that category. >> thank you very much. among the various extremist groups operating in africa today, in your view, which pose the greatest threats to the united states and given the limited capacity and in some cases the limited will of the countries in which the groups operate, are u.s. military intelligence and assistance resources kboeted to the threats adequately or appropriately balanced and what recommendations would you have for us? >> if you focus on north africa, al qaeda is say brand name. as much as an organization.
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they gain credibility with the local people as well as beyond. we have to take seriously all of these terrorist groups. whatever they call themselves. at the moment they don't have either the interest or ability to attack our homeland. we have a lot of facilities. we have a lot of assets in north africa. they were held hostage because we do business all over that continent. we have to take a hard look at them and be upping our military intelligence and assets to deal with them. >> i would like to explain to the gentle lady we passed last year. >> the best value of contract language which you are speaking measured and we are going to try to get them to take that measure
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up. we go down to mr. call from texas. >> welcome madam secretary. thank you for your service. similar to september 11, 2001, there was an april 6th 2012 crude ied thrown in benghazi. on may 22nd, 2012, the red cross building was hit and they took responsibility for the attack on june 6th, 2012. the u.s. consulate was targeted and an attack that blew a hole in the wall, again the blind sheik brigade taking credit. we have the wall that has been a classified department warning
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that the benghazi consulate could not with stand a coordinated attack. the security officer believed our consulate could not be protected at a meeting les than a month before the attack on 9-11. a contingency plan was supposedly drafted to move the operations through the cia annex about a mile away from the compound. this table was presented to have been shared by the senior staff and sent to the nfc and ambassador stevens was kill and warned about growing problems with security in ben gazay and growing frustration with security forces and the libyan police. were you aware of this august 16th cable? >> congressman, that cable did not come to my attention. i have made it very clear that the security cables did not come
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to my attention or above the assistant secretary level where the arb placed responsibility where as i think ambassador pickering said the rubber hit the road. >> when were you aware of this cable? >> after the arb gone to gather information and material which of course -- >> who within your office did see this cable? >> i'm not aware of anyone within my office. within the secretary's office having seen the cable. >> within the national security council? >> i have no information or awareness of anyone having seen that cable. >> was this a cable that was a surprise to you? >> you know, congressman, it was very disappointing to me that the arb concluded there were inadequacies and problems in the
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responsiveness of our team here in washington to the security requests that were made by our team in libya. i was not aware of that going on. it was not brought to my attention, but obviously it's something we are fixing and intend to put into place protocols and systems to make sure it doesn't happen again. >> i certainly hope so. when you have a u.s. ambassador personally warning about the situation over there, sending this cable to your office -- >> if i could, 1.43 million cape cables a year all addressed to me. they do not all come to me. >> somebody within your office should have seen this cable is my judgment. can i ask one last question. >> also i want to clarify, as
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with regard to the security requests, subsequent to the august 16th cable, our personnel in libya had not submitted additional security requests to washington at the time of the september 11 attack. now, there was an ongoing dialogue as you know between libya and washington. i think -- >> my time is limited. an emergency meeting was held and a cable support out on august 16th by the ambassador himself, warning what could happen. this cable went unnoticed by your office. that's the bottom line. >> the facts as we have them, congressman, and i will be happy to have people give you this in detail. the august 16th detail said the security request would be forth coming. the rso submitted to tripoli a list of proposed recommendations on august 23rd and no requests
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were submitted to washington before the attacks. this sounds very complicated and to some extent it is. we are trying to simplify and avoid the problems that are identified. >> why was he in benghazi on september 11? >> i will submit that question in writing. >> that are will be fine. we will go to massachusetts. >> i must say after the tragedy last september, one of the things that moved me so much were the comments of the family members of one of the heroes who lost their lives. glen do hurty in massachusetts and i'm paraphrasing, but they told people they shouldn't lose sight over who was responsible for these deaths. amazing statement putting things into perspective. the other thing was do not lose sight of the causes these men gave their lives for.
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as a person who was advanced to n those causes, i want to thank you for incredible service. one of the parts of the arb report is great concern to me. it dealt with what they described as a culture of austerity in the state department. madam secretary, can you expand on the arb's finding on that subject and how it affects the state department's ability to carry out crucial tasks, not just security, but all crucial stasks. >> that is what they found. there was a culture of husbanding resources of being quite concerned about responding even on security. with the security because one never knows what the budget is going to be going forward. we had up asks downs and as i
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said in prior administrations, it is fair to say that many of the professionals in the state department have really gotten used to worrying greatly that they will give something to somebody and that will be an expectation that will have to be taken away. it did affect the security professionals's decisions according to the arb. >> these prioritizeations have to change in my opinion not just for security reasons, but for the mission and just quickly too, with the crisis in mali and the insurgency there and the spreading threat in northern africa and the arabian peninsula, in that area, the relatively technologically advanced and the threats that go along those lines and i'm concerned about the cultural austerity there as well.
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the cyber threats and other security up greats that are going to be vitally necessary. i hope those things are not lost as we review the situation. can you comment on what we need in that regard going forward and how much of a threat this may pose to us? >> you mentioned a word that is rarely mentioned in the hearings, but i predict will be a major threat to us and that's cyber. not only going to be nation states where we already are seeing cyber intrusions both against our government and against our private sector, but increasingly non-state actors will have more capacity to disrupt and hack into and put out false information to accuse the united states of things that can lit fires before we can put them out. i think it's important we have a really thoughtful comprehensive review about the threats of
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today and the threats of tomorrow. that will help giuide the committee and administration in working together to answer them. >> thank you, madam chairman. i think i have to do something that hasn't been done yet and yield back the rest of my time. >> we will go to texas. >> thank you for your service to our country. gordon from oregon and frederick from katy, texas and victor love lady from my district, three americans overseas killed not in benghazi, but killed at a remote gas facility in algeria. killed in my opinion because they were americans. over the last weekend, myself and others have tried to get
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information. i will say that there is too much in my opinion red tape from trying to get basic information to the families as to what happened in a situation like that. i would hope that the state department would look at that protocol and try to stream line it because people died. the algerian government reports after they have captured some of the terrorists alive, some from claiming to be from egypt and one says that after interrogation by the algerian government, whatever that interrogation may enhail, that there were egyptians involved in the benghazi attack that were at the attack on the gas plant in
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algeria. at the time of the benghazi attack, the next day terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the attack, we probably don't know if the statements made by the algerian or egyptian terrorist that was captured or true if the egyptians were involved in that attack or not. it seeps to show that the whole region is very fluid with different groups getting together and causing mischief throughout the entire region. as of today, several months later after the attack in benghazi, has to your knowledge, any person been put in custody anywhere by any government for the responsibility as a suspect
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involved in the benghazi attack? >> congressman, there is one potential suspect who has been placed under monitoring by the tunisian government. there are other suspects that the fbi are both closely following and consulting with partner governments. i think based on my last conversation with director muller which was just a few days ago, he went to libya. he went to tunisia. he beliefs that the investigation is proceed iing. i know the fbi has been on the hill doing briefings with certain committees. i don't know about this committee. but i certainly hope that the fbi is able to investigate,
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identify, and hold responsible those who waged this attack against us. and i think based on their work, they feel that they are pursuing some very positive leads. >> okay. my understanding is the tunisian person who was held was released by a judge there. and that person has been released. so basically we don't really know at this point who did it. >> well, congressman, i confirmed with director muller who was just in tunisia meeting with their high officials that this person is basically under law enforcement surveillance. and forbidden to leave. director muller told me that that had been confirmed to him by the tunisians. >> all right. just very briefly, we don't know who -- no one's been held
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accountable, charged with this offense. before gadhafi was taken out, my understanding is the nation of qatar shipped in 18 shipments, 20,000 tons of weapons, machine guns, rpgs into the region to help different groups overthrow omar gadhafi. the united states give a wink and a nod to this and i'd like a written answer to that, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we'll go now to mr. sicilini from rhode island. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you madam secretary for your extraordinary service to our country. that has earned you the deep respect and admiration of people all over the world and has enhanced america's standing all over the globe. your leadership on women's issues, lbgt equality, supporting emerging democracies and enhancing national security
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are too numerous to list. but i want to begin by thanking you for all your hard work in everything you have done in service of our country. thank you also for your testimony today. the terrorist attacks on september 11th in benghazi, libya, resulted in the tragic deaths of ambassador stevens, shawn smith, tyrone woods. and these are constant reminders of the dangerous work our diplomats engage in every single day all throughout the world. while we cannot eliminate all risks, we are to provide all the resources and support necessary to help mitigate and manage those risks. with that in mind, i hope my colleagues will consider the review board which you convened. and it calls for and i quote, a serious and sustained commitment from congress to support state department needs. end quote. this is particularly important given the implications that the
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looming sequester as well as potential government shutdown would have on your diplomatic security especially in high-risk posts. i also want to thank muller for the review they conducted and you for the adoption of all arb recommendations and for promptly providing guidance on the status of that today. and just to say there's been some discussion about getting to the nitty-gritty and fixing problems. and i hope we will rely on the security professionals and expert advice and recommendations. i think they're much more likely to produce the best response to what needs to be undertaken. and so i want to ask you, madam secretary, one of the things you did in anticipation of some of the recommendations, you created for the first time ever a diplomatic security deputy assistant secretary. and i think with respect to the
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rb report, the importance of examining the state department's organization as it relates to security planning, my expectation is that would be one of the responsibilities of this new position. i'm wondering if you would tell us a little bit about the roll of this new secretary within the bureau, what responsibilities the position will have, and will this individual in particular have the authority to reallocate resources in order to fill potential resource gaps if that's one of the challenges they face? >> thank you. this is a deputy assistant secretary. i want one person held accountable looking at these high-threat posts talking to our military and intelligence partners, being a voice at the table. not just for all 275 posts, but really zeroing in on a realtime constant evaluation about what our high-threat posts need. but in addition to that, we're going to continue our work with
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the defense department in the inner agency security assessment threats. i'm also for the first time elevating a lot of these security issues for high-threat posts to the secretarial level because it hasn't been there before. i think given what we've experienced it needs to be. we're also looking for the transfer authority to add to our marine security guards, our construction, and our diplomatic security. we're enhancing the training for everyone. we're taking a hard look at another problem that the arb pointed out. and that was our temporary duty assignments. you know, very often given especially the experiences we've had in iraq and afghanistan, and to a lesser extent in some other large posts, we have a lot of our most experienced diplomatic security people going there. i mean -- you know, in the two times we've had serious assaults on our embassy in kabul.
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kabul is fortified. kabul has the troops across the street. as they draw down, we have to recognize that the zdanger is nt going to leave with our icef military. we have to take a look at a all of this and embed the responsibility into this new experienced deputy assistant secretary to do that. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> of arizona. >> thank you. madam secretary, i appreciate your desire to come before our committee today to testify and answer questions to help us make the changes necessary. to ensure the safety of all of our foreign safety officers. particularly those making the heavy sacrifices servicing in high-threat regions. but i've got to say that i am troubled by what seems to be this administration's pattern of misleading the american people and failing to hold decision makers accountable. from operation fast and furious
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where eric holder has repeatedly misled the american people. and congress about an intentional international gun walking scheme. the u.n. secretary susan rice who on five separate occasions went before the american people days after the attacks on benghazi talking about a demonstration at a facility that never happened. it was not even suggested in any of the reports and information coming from benghazi. i know the purpose of this hearing is to find out how to ensure another benghazi never happens again. i'd hope we'd all include the aftermath of the tragedy as well. how we make sure that such gross mispresentations of attacks on americians ever happens again. i know you put the four vinls identified as culpable by the review board on administrative leave, what do you anticipate will be the final resolution of their status with the